empathic

counseling & psychotherapy

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empathic

counseling and psychotherapy

At the core of happiness is the ability to feel comfortable in your own skin. By the time you’ve gotten to this website, you’ve probably experienced a fair amount of self-doubt and self-criticism. Having low self-esteem can make you feel like you’re unworthy, incapable and incompetent. It can affect your relationships, your work, your mood-nearly every aspect of your life. Sound Familiar?

Lindsay Melka, LPC Counseling Denver CO


Hi, I’m Lindsay. I’m a psychotherapist, but you may also call me a self-esteem igniter, failed-relationship investigator, expert problem-solver or a specialist in connection.

 

Negative self-talk can get in the way of you leading the happy and fulfilling life you deserve. Find a way to stop beating yourself up and release yourself from self-doubt. This can help you realize your full potential.  Together, we can explore what it means to accept yourself more freely and deeply, while working towards building healthier relationships and feeling better about yourself so you can live a more satisfying and enjoyable life. 


I know from my own personal journey, and from helping men and women across the country, that with some courage (you made it here) and help from a therapist, anyone can feel what it’s like to feel truly connected and accepted.


I believe learning to let yourself off the hook and having a good sense of humor can change the world. If you’re struggling with figuring out relationships, yes, even that one with yourself, then schedule a free consultation today.


Hi, I’m Lindsay. I’m a psychotherapist, but you may also call me a self-esteem igniter, failed-relationship investigator, expert problem-solver or a specialist in connection.

 

Negative self-talk can get in the way of you leading the happy and fulfilling life you deserve. Find a way to stop beating yourself up and release yourself from self-doubt. This can help you realize your full potential. Together, we can explore what it means to accept yourself more freely and deeply, while working towards building healthier relationships and feeling better about yourself so you can live a more satisfying and enjoyable life. 


I know from my own personal journey, and from helping men and women across the country, that with some courage (you made it here) and help from a therapist, anyone can feel what it’s like to feel truly connected and accepted.


I believe learning to let yourself off the hook and having a good sense of humor can change the world. If you’re struggling with figuring out relationships, yes, even that one with yourself, then schedule a free consultation today.

Lindsay Melka, LPC Counseling Denver CO

Recent Blog Posts

Recent Blog Posts

January 5, 2017
Lindsay Melka

Breaking Free from a Depressed and or Anxious cycle

How do you get things done when you’re feeling depressed, anxious or unmotivated? It’s hard enough for folks who don’t struggle with the depression or anxiety! If you’ve been in counseling before or not, I’m sure at some point in your life you’ve heard someone, maybe even your mom or spouse tell you “Just get up and do something. You’ll feel better”. Yes, this is typically said with good intent, but it doesn’t always help and sometimes, it can even make us feel worse. Most people know that getting up and exercising or doing some chores just DOING ANYTHING will probably make them feel better, but it’s… just..too…hard.

 

There are Solutions

There are tools that can get us back on our feet and out of our rut but it takes will and it takes effort. Let’s talk about what the hardest part of using these tools are first-you know, get it out of the way. So here it goes: you have to be willing to feel some discomfort in order to feel some relief. That’s it.

 

Let me explain

Example: You want to stay in bed because the thought of getting out of bed is so incredibly anxiety provoking that you avoid the anxiety by staying in bed. Your basically relying on your mood to make decisions for you. You’re what is called being “mood dependent”. You rely on your mood for guidance and chances are if you’re depressed your mood is telling you to do the opposite of what you should do.

Your behavior does not need to be guided by your mood. That’s pretty great news if you think about it!  Just because your mind is telling you you’re sad, does not mean that you have to stay sad and engage in activities (or non-activities really) that are contributing to your sadness.

So What Do You Do?

You practice mood independence. This is where the discomfort piece I mentioned earlier comes in. When you don’t want to get out of bed, you can. There is a choice here. You can and should do the opposite of what your crappy mood is telling you to do. That’s the trick. The more you’re  willing to be uncomfortable and do the healthy things you’ve been avoiding, the sooner you’ll pull yourself out of your rut. If you wake up tomorrow and you don’t want to get out of bed but you do, and you do something meaningful, responsible, healthy etc. you WILL feel better. Chances are you’ll have more hope that you’ll be able to do this again the next day and the next day so on and so forth. Some days it won’t be so easy and you’ll want to pull the covers over your head and avoid the day. And that’s okay. This stuff takes work. The idea is a simple one but it is certainly not easy.

 

You Do Not Have to Act According to How You Feel

You can not want to walk the dog and do it anyway. You can laugh with a friend when you’re sad. Your behavior can be totally different than your mood. Eventually your mood follows and gets used to living life with peace and enjoyment again.

 

One More Tool (my favorite) 

Just imagine how you’ll feel after you do the very thing you’re avoiding. Is it worth feeling really uncomfortable if it means you’ll get to feel better? It’s worth a try.


Lindsay Melka LPC Empathic Counseling and Therapy Denver

Lindsay Melka, LPC

Empathic Counseling and Therapy


If you connected with this post and would like to speak with me please call 720-295-5490 or contact me here.

 

 

December 21, 2016
Lindsay Melka

ACT vs. CBT What is the Difference?

For those more savvy, self-help accepting, curious potential psychotherapy clients out there, I’ve created a brief description of the differences of two of the more common types of therapy being used by clinicians these days. I don’t expect most people to know the differences between therapeutic techniques, but surprisingly, I’m finding more and more people are knowledgeable about this stuff and are genuinely interested in how this works. This is a good thing as you should know what kind of evidenced-based treatment your therapist is providing to you anyway! Below I have included a general explanation of both CBT and ACT and how they are both similar and different in treating something like depression.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)

CBT is a psychosocial intervention that is the most widely used evidenced based practice for treating mental disorders. CBT focuses on the development of personal coping strategies that target solving current problems and changing unhelpful patterns in cognitions (e.g. thoughts, beliefs and attitudes). The underlying concept behind CBT is that our thoughts and feelings play a fundamental role in our behavior.

CBT is generally short-term and focused on helping clients deal with a very specific problem. During the course of treatment, people learn how to identify and change destructive or disturbing thought patterns that have a negative influence on behavior. Many people begin to identify “core beliefs” that have dictated their emotions and behaviors for years. CBT teaches individuals to notice thoughts that are contributing to their suffering. i.e. “I will always be lazy and I will always be depressed”.

Example of CBT works:  An individual  reports that he/she is “hopeless that things will get better”. CBT would help the individual  identify the thought distortion and help them discover thoughts that are realistic and effective in helping them feel better. i.e  “I do not always feel depressed. There are times when I enjoy my life”.  Noticing and shifting one’s thinking affects one’s emotions which affects one’s behavior.

Further explanation from above example: When the individual  applies a more optimistic (and realistic) thought, their emotion changes (more hopeful) and their behavior changes (get out of bed and takes a walk).

The goal of cognitive behavior therapy is to teach patients that while they cannot control every aspect of the world around them, they can take control of how they interpret and deal with things in their environment.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT, pronounced “act”)

ACT is a form of psychotherapy commonly described as a form of cognitive behavioral therapy. It is an empirically based psychological intervention that uses acceptance, mindfulness strategies, commitment and behavior-change strategies, to increase psychological flexibility.

ACT differs from CBT in that rather than trying to teach people how to better control their thoughts, feelings, sensations, memories and other private events, ACT teaches them to just notice, accept and embrace their private events.

ACT is a powerful tool that can reduce suffering by helping one observe thoughts and feelings as they are, without trying to change them. ACT also emphasizes behaving in ways consistent with valued goals and life direction.

Example of how ACT works: One would develop acceptance around depression and learn how to develop a relationship with it rather than avoid it (what ACT refers to “experiential avoidance”).  The basic premise of ACT with depression is that while emotional pain hurts, it is the struggle with pain that causes suffering.

ACT is proven to be effective in treating not only depression but also addiction and anxiety. ACT doesn’t attempt to improve or alleviate symptoms, but rather aims to help the person stop obsessing over his or her symptoms, create new lifestyle patterns, and make healthier choices. It encourages being fully conscious in the present moment and maintaining or changing behavior based on what the moment involves.


Lindsay Melka LPC Empathic Counseling and Therapy Denver

Lindsay Melka, LPC

Empathic Counseling and Therapy


If you connected with this post and would like to speak with me please call 720-295-5490 or contact me here.